Music While You Write?

I wrote a while ago about The Rituals Of a Writer. In this particular post I spoke at length about things some authors do whilst they write their new masterpiece etc.

I relayed that when I’m writing I listen to a lot of music.
What interests me about this (from a musicians aspect) is, does it help the process or hinder it greatly?
I personally find my mind works better whilst listening to music of my preference. As I write this I’m listening to one of my favourite bands of all time RUSH with their cosmic, out of this world songs/instrumentals and odd time signatures etc its atmospheric qualities really get me stuck into the page.
I know Stephen King listens to things such as Metallica, AC/DC when he is writing (smart man) but for some authors, as I have mentioned before they depend on absolute silence to get the work done.
So my question to authors of all genres is this,

Do you listen to music whilst writing?

If so do you listen to a specific type to go along with a certain genre I.e listening to Black Metal when writing Romance or when writing Urban Fantasy do you listen to Chris De Burgh etc.
Would love to hear what you listen to when writing, the weirder the better!

Till next time Insomniacs!

R. A. Kennedy

Awaiting The Sun: A Poem

Now for something completely different!
Here is a short Poem written a while ago, by my fair hands.

The moon ethereal, fingers of dim light,
be thine force to guide thy flight.

Among the fields and the wind that sweeps,
an evenings song by dark; Rejoice! Thy eyes sleep.

Shadow of night, in a shrouded haze, forget the day, forsake the day; for a thousand seeing eyes await the coming grey.

Alas! The sun, it fails to be; for the sky cries out, and the rain doth grieve.

© R. A. Kennedy

Where do you get your ideas from?

We have all read countless interviews, Q&A’s with authors etc where one question in particular is constantly asked of many writers,

Where do you get your ideas from?

I can’t answer for all authors, but from what I have experienced myself, (I’m still a novice by all accounts) and other sources, the answer is simply this; anywhere and everywhere!
You will hear many authors say that a writers brain is always writing even when they are not writing. I can confirm this statement fully, its a peculiar thing really you can be doing a simple everyday task such as, washing the dishes and your cogs will whirr. from deep within your (as Hercule Poirot would say) “little gray cells.” You start asking yourself questions like “what if this dish suddenly gained the power of intelligence, sprouted limbs, and started a revolution.” Then other things start bouncing around within your imagination that lead off (and sometimes away) from your original question to yourself. it doesn’t just stop there however. Ideas can come from a conversation with someone that once again fires up the imagination also situations that you have previously been involved in that you invert and exaggerate to transform into a story of epic proportions. The adage “Write what you know,” is also very true and its something to definitely keep in mind. This constant influx from your over-powering imagine always requires you to have a pen and paper at hand because its when you don’t it will be something brilliant and it usually ends with you kicking yourself.
I’m currently in the middle of writing my first novel as well as a few short stories. My ideas always have (and hopefully always will) come from all manner of places. My most common source is dreams that I have, obviously sometimes dreams can be completely nonsensical, and a salvaging of a story from these is literally like looking for a needle in a haystack. But, the ones that aren’t completely bonkers have at least a great outline or character motivation or situation etc. These dreams must obviously be refined into something that’s workable but when the basic idea is there, anything is possible. I (and probably many other writers) have sheets and sheets of paper of ideas, that have started off as something small and have grown into a towering, snarling, slobbering behemoth of an idea. Its almost like the smallest snowball, rolling down a hill and gradually continuing to grow in size. So the age old question of “Where do you get your ideas from?” Can be answered thus: “Where *don’t* I get my ideas from?” For, a writers brain is constantly writing; imagining worlds of fantastic proportions, where the impossible is more than probable and dreams become all the more real.

Anthony Price: Espionage at its greatest.

I first discovered Anthony Price when I was in my early teens. My Gran picked up a well loved copy (at a W.I jumble sale) of his first novel of the David Audley/Colonel Jack Butler series, ‘The Labyrinth Makers.’
It wasn’t until a year ago that I rediscovered Anthony Price. I actually met the man himself, I was unaware at first until he formally introduced himself.
Memories of his first book came flooding back to me once the penny dropped. We chatted for a long while, he was more than happy to chat about his work and writing in general, a very lovely chap indeed. Upon my departure he produced three of his books and signed them for me. Of course I was over the moon! I read them as soon as I could, and was once again fully transported into the dangerous adventures of David Audley and Colonel Jack Butler.

Audley and Butler work for a counter-intelligence unit, that draws comparisons to that of MI5, although they refer to themselves as “Research and Development.” David Audley (an analyst and historian) features in every story although he is not always the main protagonist. David Audley is known for his unorthodox methods, he is a historian and frequently quotes his beloved author; Rudyard Kipling.
David Audley is a character that you immediately warm to, and can’t help but smile at the way he goes about things. He is quite a devious schemer and will do all that he can, not to give to much information away as to what is going on, mostly to his own colleagues. There’s almost this method of keeping his cards close to his chest so he can casually observe his surroundings as to get to the bottom of a particular investigation or circumstance.
The stories contain a lot of twists and turns and there is something about David Audley that one could attribute to guess work. Having said that he has seldom been wrong.
There are obviously some other great characters in the stories Colonel Jack Butler joins Audley on many missions also later on in the series a researcher named Paul Mitchell helps Audley there is also Oliver Latimer who has some contempt for Audley and also Elizabeth Loftus a female investigator.
There are a lot of recurring themes in the stories one being ‘The Debrecen List’ and David Audleys Russian opponent Professor Panin.

Anthony Price ended the series after 19 novels in 1989 with ‘The Memory Trap’ he did write a non-fiction book a year later about Naval Frigates.
Even though his fantastic writing speaks for itself he won a couple of awards; The Silver Dagger award for ‘The Labryinth Makers’ and then with his fifth novel ‘Other Paths To Glory’ he won; The Golden Dagger award. His novels were also made into a six part television series called Chessgame; it starred Terrance Stamp as Dr David. Audley.
I highly recommend the David Audley series. Full of fantastic writing, great plotlines and a plethora of colourful characters. Its a must for your book collection. The stories are fluent and the pace is kept really well, there are a lot of historical references which adds even more intrigue to the story. In conclusion Anthony Price proves that a good espionage story doesn’t have to be Flash Cars/Guns/Gadgets all wrapped up in a suave playboy package to be exciting.

Morgawr: Cornwalls Sea Monster

In my welcome post I promised you the occasional sea monster, and dammit I’m goin to do just that!
Ladies and Gents I present you with a sea monster that unfortunately gets less coverage than that of Nessie.
I give you Cornwall’s, Morgawr!

Me and my wife have a big fascination with all things deemed unexplained. One such example is Cryptozoology (In Greek the term literally means study of hidden animals) the timeless search. animals whose existence on our tiny planet have not yet been proved.
We have heard of The Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, and of course Big Foot, and The Abominable Snowman, but there are a lot of lesser known examples of these fascinating Cryptids (as they are called).
Morgawr hails from the Cornish Seas (mostly around Falmouth). its name means Sea monster in the now disused language of Cornish. There have been documented cases of sightings as far back as 1876. Cornish fishermen have claimed to have caught Morgawr in their nets and claim it is about 20 feet long.
One of the documented sightings at Pendennis Point Falmouth, September 1975, witnesses claim to have seen a humped creature with ‘stumpy horns’ and bristles on its long neck, catching a conger eel in its mouth. The waters where Morgawr has been sighted, usually contain plenty of conger eels, it has been sighted as far as the Plymouth coast but tends to favour the waters around Falmouth and surrounding areas.
Theories have been passed around as to what Morgawr might actually be. Some say that it is mistaken for a rare species of long necked seal, others say it could be a Basking Shark or even a dead Basking Shark. To both of these theories I say nay! Basking Sharks are notoriously shy and stay submerged, and although they are peculiar looking they don’t resemble anything like what is stated by the many witnesses. The more plausible theory is that Morgawr is a species of prehistoric Plesiosaur.
This in my opinion is most probably what it is. After all why not? We know less about our own Oceans than we do about our Galaxy. Who knows what mysteries really lie in our seas? Why shouldn’t a species of Dinosaur survive? With the time they have spent on this earth they are probably rather good at hiding!
Of course there are those who of course cry “hoax” at the many documented sightings of any sea monster or anything that is unexplained for that matter. My view is, there is more to this world than meets the eye and just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean its not there!
Hopefully one day the unexplained will become clear! One worry I do have about the future of these unexplained creatures is, that I hope we (as humans) do not attempt at some sort of capture of any Cryptid creature and exhibit him/her for tourist and monetary purposes. These creatures are doing very well without our interference we as humans need to let them do just that.

Many people see Cryptozoology as a pseudoscience and not a reputable use of scientific study. But in this day and age who can truly say what a true science is and what is not? Is the search for Extra Terrestrial Biological Entities a true science? Some would say no! I would yet again disagree with that. If other life can exist on undiscovered planets why can’t undiscovered creatures exist on our humble planet? Let us not forget some milestones of Cryptozoology, include the Mountain Gorilla and the Okapi both of which were said not to exist, and also the Komodo Dragon which before 1912 was referred to I believe as a Monitor Lizard. Other Hallmarks include proof of the existence of the giant squid by photographic evidence In 2004 I’m also to the understanding that a giant squid has recently been filmed.

I hope to one day (along with my wife) see Morgawr for myself as well as other sea monsters.
Some might see me as foolish, to them I say; the world that exists underneath us, and above us is much stranger than fiction and holds countless possibilities!
So here’s to Morgawr! The sea monster of Cornwall! May he/she never run out of conger eels!